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Flag of Denmark
Map of Denmark
Introduction Denmark
Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. It joined NATO in 1949 and the EEC (now the EU) in 1973. However, the country has opted out of certain elements of the European Union's Maastricht Treaty, including the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), European defense cooperation, and issues concerning certain justice and home affairs.
Geography Denmark
Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany (Jutland); also includes two major islands (Sjaelland and Fyn)
Geographic coordinates:
56 00 N, 10 00 E
Map references:
total: 43,094 sq km
land: 42,394 sq km
water: 700 sq km
note: includes the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and the rest of metropolitan Denmark (the Jutland Peninsula, and the major islands of Sjaelland and Fyn), but excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts
Land boundaries:
total: 68 km
border countries: Germany 68 km
7,314 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
temperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers
low and flat to gently rolling plains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lammefjord -7 m
highest point: Yding Skovhoej 173 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone, chalk, stone, gravel and sand
Land use:
arable land: 52.59%
permanent crops: 0.19%
other: 47.22% (2005)
Irrigated land:
4,490 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
flooding is a threat in some areas of the country (e.g., parts of Jutland, along the southern coast of the island of Lolland) that are protected from the sea by a system of dikes
Environment - current issues:
air pollution, principally from vehicle and power plant emissions; nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of the North Sea; drinking and surface water becoming polluted from animal wastes and pesticides
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
controls Danish Straits (Skagerrak and Kattegat) linking Baltic and North Seas; about one-quarter of the population lives in greater Copenhagen
People Denmark
5,450,661 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 18.7% (male 523,257/female 496,697)
15-64 years: 66.1% (male 1,815,240/female 1,787,406)
65 years and over: 15.2% (male 355,656/female 472,405) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.8 years
male: 38.9 years
female: 40.7 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.33% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
11.13 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
10.36 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
2.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.51 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.79 years
male: 75.49 years
female: 80.22 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.74 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2003 est.)
noun: Dane(s)
adjective: Danish
Ethnic groups:
Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, Somali
Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Protestant and Roman Catholic 3%, Muslim 2%
Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority)
note: English is the predominant second language
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government Denmark
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Denmark
conventional short form: Denmark
local long form: Kongeriget Danmark
local short form: Danmark
Government type:
constitutional monarchy
name: Copenhagen
geographic coordinates: 55 40 N, 12 35 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
metropolitan Denmark - 14 counties (amter, singular - amt) and 2 boroughs* (amtskommuner, singular - amtskommune); Arhus, Bornholm, Frederiksberg*, Frederiksborg, Fyn, Kobenhavn, Kobenhavn (Copenhagen)*, Nordjylland, Ribe, Ringkobing, Roskilde, Sonderjylland, Storstrom, Vejle, Vestsjalland, Viborg
note: as a result of an extensive 2005 local government reform, with 2006 being a transition year, 271 municipalities will be merged to 98 by 1 January 2007, and the 14 counties will be reorganized into five regions
first organized as a unified state in 10th century; in 1849 became a constitutional monarchy
National holiday:
none designated; Constitution Day, 5 June (1849) is generally viewed as the National Day
5 June 1849 adoption of original constitution; a major overhaul of 5 June 1953 allowed for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state
Legal system:
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II (since 14 January 1972); Heir Apparent Crown Prince FREDERIK, elder son of the monarch (born 26 May 1968)
head of government: Prime Minister Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN (since 27 November 2001)
cabinet: Council of State appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch
Legislative branch:
unicameral People's Assembly or Folketinget (179 seats, including 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 8 February 2005 (next to be held February 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 29%, Social Democrats 25.9%, Danish People's Party 13.2%, Conservative Party 10.3%, Social Liberal Party 9.2%, Socialist People's Party 6%, Unity List 3.4%; seats by party - Liberal Party 52, Social Democrats 47, Danish People's Party 24, Conservative Party 18, Social Liberal Party 17, Socialist People's Party 11, Unity List 6; note - does not include the 2 seats from Greenland and the 2 seats from the Faroe Islands
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch for life)
Political parties and leaders:
Christian Democrats (was Christian People's Party) [Bodil KORNBEK]; Conservative Party (sometimes known as Conservative People's Party) [Bendt BENDTSEN]; Danish People's Party [Pia KJAERSGAARD]; Liberal Party [Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN]; Red-Green Unity List (bloc includes Left Socialist Party, Communist Party of Denmark, Socialist Workers' Party) [collective leadership]; Social Democratic Party [Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT]; Social Liberal Party (sometimes called the Radical Left) [Marianne JELVED, leader; Soren BALD, chairman]; Socialist People's Party [Villy SOEVNDAL]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Friis Arne PETERSEN
chancery: 3200 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 328-1470
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James P. CAIN
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen
mailing address: PSC 73, APO AE 09716
telephone: [45] 33 41 71 00
FAX: [45] 35 43 02 23
Flag description:
red with a white cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side, and that design element of the Dannebrog (Danish flag) was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
Economy Denmark
Economy - overview:
The Danish economy is undergoing strong expansion fueled by private consumption growth, low unemployment, rising real wages, and a strong increase in house prices. This thoroughly modern market economy features high-tech agriculture, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, a stable currency, and high dependence on foreign trade. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus. Government objectives include streamlining the bureaucracy and further privatization of state assets. The government has been successful in meeting, and even exceeding, the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (a common European currency) of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but Denmark has decided not to join 12 other EU members in the euro. Nonetheless, the Danish krone remains pegged to the euro. Economic growth gained momentum in 2004 and the upturn continued through 2006. Because of high GDP per capita, welfare benefits, a low Gini index, and political stability, the Danish people enjoy living standards topped by no other nation. A major long-term issue will be the sharp decline in the ratio of workers to retirees.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$198.5 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$256.3 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$37,000 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 24.6%
services: 74% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
2.91 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 21%
services: 76% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4.5% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 24% (2000 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
23.2 (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.8% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
22.2% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $147 billion
expenditures: $138.9 billion; including capital expenditures of $4.6 billion (2006 est.)
Public debt:
28.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets; pork, dairy products; fish
iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment
Industrial production growth rate:
2.5% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:
38.02 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 82.7%
hydro: 0.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 17.3% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
32.56 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
11.5 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
8.7 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
391,400 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
185,300 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
332,100 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
195,000 bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
1.23 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
9.43 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
5.171 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
4.099 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
99.99 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:
$4.941 billion (2006 est.)
$93.93 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, chemicals, furniture, ships, windmills
Exports - partners:
Germany 17.6%, Sweden 13.2%, UK 8.7%, US 6.4%, France 5.5%, Netherlands 5.3%, Norway 5.1% (2005)
$89.32 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Germany 20.5%, Sweden 13.8%, Norway 6.6%, Netherlands 6.5%, UK 5.9%, China 4.7%, France 4.2%, Italy 4.1% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$30.38 billion (August 2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$405 billion (30 June 2006)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $2 billion (2004)
Currency (code):
Danish krone (DKK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Danish kroner per US dollar - 5.93667 (2006), 5.9969 (2005), 5.9911 (2004), 6.5877 (2003), 7.8947 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Denmark
Telephones - main lines in use:
3.35 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
5.469 million (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: excellent telephone and telegraph services
domestic: buried and submarine cables and microwave radio relay form trunk network, 4 cellular mobile communications systems
international: country code - 45; 18 submarine fiber-optic cables linking Denmark with Canada, Faroe Islands, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and UK; satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 10 Eutelsat, 1 Orion, 1 Inmarsat (Blaavand-Atlantic-East); note - the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) share the Danish earth station and the Eik, Norway, station for worldwide Inmarsat access (1997)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 355, shortwave 0 (1998)
6.02 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
26 (plus 51 repeaters) (1998)
3.121 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
2,415,530 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
13 (2000)
Internet users:
3,762,500 (2005)
Transportation Denmark
92 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 28
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 3 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 64
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 61 (2006)
condensate 12 km; gas 3,931 km; oil 626 km; oil/gas/water 2 km (2006)
total: 2,673 km
standard gauge: 2,673 km 1.435-m gauge (601 km electrified) (2005)
total: 72,257 km
paved: 72,257 km (including 1,032 km of expressways) (2005)
400 km (2001)
Merchant marine:
total: 293 ships (1000 GRT or over) 7,986,735 GRT/9,936,431 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 7, cargo 63, chemical tanker 48, container 86, liquefied gas 4, livestock carrier 2, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 40, petroleum tanker 23, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 4
foreign-owned: 25 (Canada 1, Germany 13, Greece 5, Greenland 1, Norway 3, Sweden 1, UK 1)
registered in other countries: 409 (Antigua and Barbuda 14, Bahamas 59, Belgium 4, Cayman Islands 5, Cyprus 1, Egypt 1, Estonia 2, France 1, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 2, Gibraltar 1, Hong Kong 6, Isle of Man 53, North Korea 1, Liberia 8, Lithuania 10, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 1, Mexico 2, Netherlands 9, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 32, Panama 34, Portugal 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 14, Singapore 52, South Africa 1, Spain 1, Sweden 4, UK 46, US 24, Vanuatu 6, Venezuela 3, Vietnam 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Aalborg, Aarhus, Asnaesvaerkets, Copenhagen, Elsinore, Ensted, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Frederikshavn, Kalundborg, Odense, Roenne
Military Denmark
Military branches:
Defense Command: Army Operational Command, Admiral Danish Fleet, Tactical Air Command (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and volunteer military service; conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from four to 12 months according to specialization; reservists are assigned to mobilization units following completion of their conscript service; women eligible to volunteer for military service (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,175,108
females age 18-49: 1,150,627 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 955,168
females age 18-49: 935,643 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 31,317
females age 18-49: 29,558 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$3,271.6 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.5% (2004)
Transnational Issues Denmark
Disputes - international:
Iceland disputes the Faroe Islands' fisheries median line; Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm; Faroese continue to study proposals for full independence; uncontested sovereignty dispute with Canada over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007